EXTERNAL ADVISORY BOARD
SADIA HAIDER, MD, MPH
Sadia Haider, MD, MPH
Associate Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Section Chief of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research
University of Chicago
Dr. Haider is the Section Chief of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research at the University of Chicago. In addition to serving as the section chief, Dr. Haider is also the Title X Program Medical Director for the Illinois Department of Public Health and Director of the University of Chicago’s Family Planning Fellowship. She received her BA (with Honors in Anthropology) and MD from the University of Chicago. While in medical school, she also received her MPH in maternal and child health from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Haider completed her residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Harvard Medical School and her fellowship in Family Planning at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Haider enjoys providing full-spectrum obstetrics and gynecologic care along with family planning services. As a very committed educator, Dr. Haider has received multiple teaching awards. Dr. Haider is an active researcher and her program of research seeks to address gaps in contraception access and provision that are due to provider and systematic barriers. She has several funded studies that utilize an interdisciplinary approach to test novel strategies, which aim to improve contraception provision to postpartum and adolescent women including a focus on immediate postpartum LARC. Dr. Haider is also an advocate for reproductive rights and works to improve women’s health and rights domestically and globally.
NANCY RAYMOND, MD
Nancy Raymond, MD
Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Development
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Nancy Raymond, MD, is the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development at the School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH), University of Wisconsin-Madison. Raymond received her MD from the University of Minnesota Medical School (UMN). After completing her residency in psychiatry, she was recruited to join the faculty at her alma mater where she advanced through the ranks to become a professor in the Psychiatry Department. She also served as the associate dean for faculty affairs at the UMN for three years prior to joining the dean’s office at SMPH. While at the UMN Medical School, she served as the founding director of the UMN Center of Excellence in Women’s Health. She was recognized for her training and mentoring of women’s health researchers as the principal investigator of the UMN Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health K12 NIH grant which was successfully renewed twice before her move to Wisconsin. One of her focus areas as associate dean is working to increase the diversity of faculty, staff, and students in the medical school. Working in this area has been a passion of hers since attending the AAMC Healthcare Executive Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program. Her research interests are focused on studying the role of impulsivity in eating disorders, particularly bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. She has also used similar methodology to study the role of impulsivity and problematic sexual behavior, sometimes referred to as sexual addiction.
INTERNAL ADVISORY BOARD
STACIE GELLER, PHD – CHAIR
Stacie E. Geller, PhD
William Arends Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Professor, Division of Academic Internal Medicine
Former Principal Investigator of the UIC BIRCWH Program
College of Medicine
Stacie Geller, Ph.D. is G. William Arends Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Professor, Division of Academic internal Medicine, Department of Medicine at the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine. She is the Director of the UIC Center for Research on Women and Gender and the National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health. Dr. Geller is a health services researcher and epidemiologist with expertise in women’s health issues, maternal morbidity and mortality, with a special emphasis on post-partum hemorrhage (PPH). She has a well-established national and international research career, having published over 90 peer-reviewed manuscripts, been awarded numerous research grants and conducted several NIH-funded clinical trials.
Dr. Geller’s work in maternal health focuses on factors associated with maternal morbidity and mortality. She was the Principal Investigator of a CDC/ASPH cooperative agreement “Investigation of factors associated with maternal mortality.” Dr. Geller has developed an innovative model for early identification of high-risk pregnant women and has done extensive work in Illinois to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality. As a member of two maternal deaths review committees in Illinois, she is leading the statewide effort to examine severe maternal morbidity. Dr. Geller is also the Co-PI of I PROMOTE-IL, Illinois’ Maternal Health Innovation Grant funded by HRSA.
Dr. Geller’s work extends to global women’s health as well. She has conducted several studies related to the safety and efficacy of misoprostol in South East Asia and Africa. This has led to work with several other international agencies including the Gates and MacArthur Foundations, non-profit organizations and foreign governments to promote implementation of misoprostol into community-based settings in the developing world. Additionally, in collaboration with the University of Victoria and the New Zealand Ministry of Health, Dr. Geller has engaged in several initiatives to improve maternal and newborn health in Maori women.
JOANNA E. BURDETTE, PHD
Joanna E. Burdette, PhD
Professor, Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy
Associate Dean for Research, Pharmaceutical Sciences
College of Pharmacy
Dr. Joanna E. Burdette is currently a Professor and the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education in the College of Pharmacy at UIC. She serves as the Associate Director of the CCTS KL2 mentoring program for junior faculty at UIC. In this role, Dr. Burdette actively mentors assistant professors across seven health science colleges in translational science and navigating the tenure system. From 2014-2017, she was the co-director of the UIC NIH K12 Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) program, and she is former BIRCWH scholar. In 2013, Dr. Burdette was named the UIC Rising Star and in 2020 Research of the Year in the basic life sciences. Her research focuses on women’s health. Specifically, she investigates the origins of ovarian cancer and work with natural products as a source of chemical probes and new anti-cancer agents. She also integrates microfluidics, drug discovery, and tissue engineering to study aspects of tumorigenesis from the fallopian tube, which is now believed to be the source of high-grade serous ovarian cancer.
JOAN BRILLER, MD, FACC, FASE, FAHA
Joan Briller, MD, FACC, FASE, FAHA
Professor of Clinical Medicine
Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology
College of Medicine
Dr. Joan E. Briller is Professor of Medicine (Cardiology and Obstetrics and Gynecology) where she directs the Women and Heart Disease Program. She has a long-standing focus on pregnancy-associated heart disease with current research projects addressing maternal morbidity, mortality and pregnancy-associated heart failure. Her clinical program has evaluated more than 1000 women with pregnancy related cardiac disease. She has served as a co-investigator for IPAC, a multicenter NHLBI-funded study on the role of immune activation and myocardial recovery in peripartum cardiomyopathy which is providing new insights into this illness associated with substantial maternal mortality. As a member of the Illinois Maternal Mortality Committee, she has joined Illinois’ efforts to reduce maternal cardiovascular deaths. She has served on advisory committees for the Sister to Sister Foundation and the Heart Truth Campaign and has served as a Chicago spokesperson for the AHA, including 15 years working on Chicago Go Red Activities and is member of the American College of Cardiology Committee on heart disease in women.
KAREN J. COLLEY, PHD
Karen J. Colley, PhD
Dean, Graduate College
Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
College of Medicine
Since joining UIC in 1991 as an assistant professor, Dr. Colley has made students and graduate education a major focus while maintaining an active NIH-funded research program and serving in several administrative roles in the College of Medicine (COM) and for the UIC campus. In 2002 Dr. Colley co-founded the COM Graduate Education in Medical Sciences (GEMS) program, the first interdisciplinary graduate program at UIC, which she co-directed for three years. In 2005 she became the Interim Associate Dean for Research in the COM, and in 2007 was promoted to Associate Dean for Research and Education. From 2007 to 2012 she also served as Associate Director of the NIH-funded Medical Scientist Training Program. Prior to becoming the Dean of the Graduate College in 2012, Dr. Colley served one year as Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the COM. At the campus level, Dr. Colley has served on the campus promotion and tenure committee, chaired the University Scholar selection committee, and on the search committees for both the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs/Provost.
Dr. Colley has maintained an active, NIH-funded research laboratory since 1991 that focuses on the mechanisms and impact of protein glycosylation on human disease. In 2003, her scholarship was recognized with the UIC University Scholar Award. Dr. Colley has served on two NIH study sections, the editorial boards of both the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Glycobiology, as the chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Glycobiology (2007), and as the co-chair of the Glycobiology thematic session at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2012). She was recently elected the President-Elect of the Society for Glycobiology.
LUISA A. DiPIETRO, PHD, DDS, MS
Luisa A. DiPietro, PhD, DDS, MS
Director, Center for Wound Healing and Tissue Regeneration
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research
Dr. Luisa A. DiPietro is Professor of Periodontics and the Director of the Center for Wound Healing and Tissue Regeneration at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She also serves as the UIC Scientific Director for the Chicago Biomedical Consortium. Dr. DiPietro received both her DDS and PhD in immunology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed a residency in hospital dentistry at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. Research in the DiPietro laboratory focuses on how wounds heal, with the goal of developing therapies that will allow humans to regenerate perfect tissue after an injury. Her research includes basic laboratory research, clinical studies, and computational modeling of the healing process. Dr. DiPietro’s research has been continuously funded by NIH since 1994 and includes serving as the PI for an NIH-funded Innovative Center in Wound Healing Research. Dr. DiPietro has served as the primary mentor for more than 70 research trainees. She directs the KL2 Junior Faculty Career Development Program for the UIC Center for Clinical and Translational Science and is active in both faculty and trainee mentoring programs. Her honors and awards include the Distinguished Service Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wound Healing Society, and the Mentor of the Year Award from the American Association for Dental Research Student Research Group. Dr. DiPietro is a University Scholar and an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
MARIAN L. FITZGIBBON, PHD
Marian L. Fitzgibbon, PhD
Professor of Pediatrics, College of Medicine
Professor, Health Policy and Administration, School of Public Health
Associate Director, Institute for Health Research and Policy
Associate Director for Cancer Prevention and Control, Cancer Center
Dr. Marian Fitzgibbon is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics in the UIC College of Medicine and the Division of Health Policy and Administration in the UIC School of Public Health. She also serves as an IHRP Associate Director and, in the University of Illinois Cancer Center, she is the Associate Director for Cancer Prevention and Control. Dr. Fitzgibbon’s research has focused primarily on health risk reduction interventions in minority and underserved populations. Her work has been supported by the NIH continually for more than a dozen years and she regularly publishes in peer-reviewed journals. She serves as an ad hoc reviewer on a number of journals, including Health Psychology, The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, American Journal of Public Health, The Journal of The American Medical Association, and Ethnicity and Disease. Dr. Fitzgibbon has mentored pre-doctoral, postdoctoral, and junior faculty for more than a decade. She has chaired 12 dissertation committees and is the primary mentor for two recipients of career development K awards through the National Cancer Institute (NCI). She recently received a minority supplement for a grant awarded from the NCI and is a mentor for a Career Development Awardee.
ARDEN HANDLER, DRPH
Arden Handler, DrPH
Professor and Interim Division Director, Community Health Sciences
Director, Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health
School of Public Health
Dr. Arden Handler’s career reflects her long-standing commitment to improving the health of women, children and families. She received a DrPH from the University of Illinois School of Public Health in 1987 and has been on the faculty at UIC-SPH since then. She is currently Interim Division Director of Community Health Sciences, PI of the UIC-SPH Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health, and PI of the UIC-SPH MCH Epidemiology Program and has a long history of participating in MCH workforce development projects. Her research focuses on the exploration of factors that increase the risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes and examination of the ways in which the health care delivery system, particularly prenatal care, perinatal care, postpartum care, and preconception/interconception/well-woman health care can ameliorate these risks. She is currently the PI for the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program evaluation, PI of the Family Connects-Chicago evaluation, co-PI on the evaluation of OCEAN Healthy Start, and is Multiple PI on I PROMOTE-IL, a HRSA funded project to improve maternal health throughout IL.
MEMOONA HASNAIN, MD, MHPE, PHD
Memoona Hasnain, MD, MHPE, PhD
Professor and Interim Head, Department of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
Dr. Hasnain is a tenured Professor and Interim Department Head in the Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She holds adjunct faculty appointments in the School of Public Health, Department of Medical Education and College of Nursing, and is an Honors College Faculty. The primary focus of Dr. Hasnain’s work is at the intersection of medicine and public health, with an emphasis on humanism, empathy, social justice, health equity, interprofessional education, service and scholarship. She is a nationally recognized expert on health disparities. In addition to research advocacy and mentoring, she has developed and implemented academic programs organized in four themes: 1) Interprofessional collaborative education and practice, 2) Civic role, service learning and community engagement 3) Cultural sensitivity, competency and inclusiveness, and 4) Leadership, wellness, resilience and success. She is the principal architect of several educational innovations, including UIC College of Medicine’s longitudinal “Patient-centered Medicine Scholars Program”, which has special emphasis on vulnerable populations and social determinants of health. She is Co-Director of “ENGAGE-IL” a Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program funded by HRSA; Co-Director, Community of Practice – National Collaborative for Education to Address the Social Determinants of Health (NCEAS); founding Faculty Advisor for the UIC COM Student Wellness Committee; Co-Chair of the UIC COM Gold Humanism Honor Society; Co-Chair of UIC COM Faculty Academic Advancement Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (FAAC-DEI); Chair, Scholarship and Program Evaluation Workgroup for the UIC Interprofessional Education Steering Committee; and immediate past President of the South Asian Public Health Association – SAPHA. She is a trained mediator and Healer’s Art faculty.
TAMAR HELLER, PHD
Tamar Heller, PhD
Professor and Head, Disability and Human Development
Director, Institute on Disability and Human Development
Director, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with Developmental Disabilities
College of Applied Health Sciences
Dr. Heller is professor and head of the UIC Department of Disability and Human Development and directs its University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities for the State of Illinois. She also directs the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Developmental Disabilities and Health, the Institute’s Family Clinics, and the TAP autism training program. She has active projects on family support and health promotion interventions for individuals with disabilities.
Dr. Heller has written over 200 publications and presented numerous papers at major conferences on family support interventions and policies, self-determination, health promotion, and aging of people with disabilities. She has written or co-edited five books and has edited special issues of Technology and Disability, American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, and Family Relations. She is the past president of the board of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. In 2005 she was Senator Obama’s delegate to the White House Conference on Aging. She is co-founder of the national Sibling Leadership Network and a member of its executive board.
ROBIN J. MERMELSTEIN, PHD
Robin J. Mermelstein, PhD
Distinguished Professor of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Director, Institute for Health Research and Policy
Co-Principal Director, UIC Center for Clinical and Translational Science
Dr. Robin Mermelstein, a Distinguished Professor, College of Liberal Arts and Science, Department of Psychology, directs the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She also is a research professor of community health sciences in the UIC School of Public Health, and the co-director of the UIC Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Her research interests fall broadly in the area of tobacco use, with studies ranging from longitudinal examinations of the etiology of youth smoking to cessation interventions for adult smokers.
Since the mid-1990s, Dr. Mermelstein has been the principal investigator of a series of studies, including two consecutive program projects funded by the National Cancer Institute, to investigate trajectories of smoking patterns among adolescents and young adults, with a focus on social and emotional contextual factors. In addition, she has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to examine factors related to youth smoking, and by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Cancer Institute for studies of adult smoking reduction and cessation. Other areas of research focus include health behaviors of young adults and motivational interventions to increase smoking cessation. In 2014, the University of Illinois at Chicago named Dr. Mermelstein Woman of the Year for her contributions to women’s health and professional development. She is a former mentor to several BIRCWH scholars and Women’s Health Associates.
JUDITH M. SCHLAEGER, PHD, CNM, LAc, FAAN
Judith M. Schlaeger, PhD, CNM, LAc, FAAN
Department of Human Development Nursing Science
Dr. Schlaeger is a pain scientist. She is focused on the development of translational treatments for chronic pain. Dr. Schlaeger has an extensive background as a practicing licensed acupuncturist where she developed her interest in researching pain; and as a certified nurse midwife where she developed her interest in developing treatments for vulvodynia, a chronic pain syndrome, which has no consistently effective treatments. Dr. Schlaeger is grounded in Western medicine and trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine. She understands the limitations and strengths of both paradigms. Dr. Schlaeger has already made a major contribution to science by being the first to demonstrate that, in an unblinded study, her standardized acupuncture treatment protocol significantly reduced the pain and dyspareunia of vulvodynia. She has three currently funded NIH acupuncture studies, an R01, an R21, and a UG3 (pending UH3) that are focused on using acupuncture for three chronic pain conditions. The R01 is testing a double-blind phase two randomized controlled trial (RCT) (Double-blind Phase 2 RCT: Effect of Acupuncture on Patient Vulvodynia Outcomes), The R21 is to improve symptoms of stable angina (Feasibility Testing of a Randomized Controlled Trial of Acupuncture to Improve Symptoms for Stable Angina),and the newly awarded UG3 (Hybrid Effectiveness-Implementation Trial of Guided Relaxation and Acupuncture for Chronic Sickle Cell Disease Pain) is the 1-year planning mechanism for a 4-year (UH3) RCT that compares acupuncture to guided relaxation for sickle cell disease pain. Collaborating with the UIC sickle cell research team, through self-report measures as well as QST testing, we found early evidence that the pain of SCD may have a neuropathic component. In addition, Dr. Schlaeger’s background of understanding the origins of chronic pain (e.g., sickle cell disease and vulvodynia) greatly allows her to contribute to the evaluation of pain in sickle cell disease patients.
Dr. Schlaeger’s integration of TCM and western medicine in women’s health practice and research offers a treatment paradigm that has attracted citations in the United States, Europe, and Asia, including the National Vulvodynia Association in its continuing medical education program, the European Guidelines for the Management of Vulvodynia, and the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease for its policies and guidelines for the treatment of vulvodynia. Her dedication to women’s health also includes teaching workshops on the use of acupressure in labor, which provides non-drug options for the reduction of pain, to certified nurse midwives and labor and delivery nurses.
TERRY VANDEN HOEK, MD, FACEP
Terry Vanden Hoek, MD, FACEP
Professor and Head, Department of Emergency Medicine
College of Medicine
Dr. Terry Vanden Hoek is the chief medical officer and head of Emergency Medicine at UI Health. As CMO, he oversees the medical staff and medical services for the University of Illinois Hospital & Clinics. Dr. Vanden Hoek is an expert in the biology of the heart and in preventing and treating heart attacks, particularly those leading to cardiac arrest. He has helped develop CPR guidelines for the American Heart Association, and he leads the Illinois Heart Rescue Program, which teaches bystander CPR in the community. He currently is conducting National Institutes of Health-funded research to investigate new biological agents that mimic the effects of lowering the body’s core temperature, which can reduce the risk of long-term heart and neurological effects if provided during or immediately after the administration of CPR. Dr. Vanden Hoek spearheaded the development of the UIC CHAMPIONS NETWork program, a health system initiative that partners with nearby high schools to empower youth to improve community health and prepare them for careers in healthcare. He also is heavily involved with UI Health’s Better Health Through Housing program, which places chronically homeless emergency department patients into permanent housing.
FORMER SCHOLAR ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS
KIRSTIE K. DANIELSON, PHD
Kirstie K. Danielson, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and Epidemiology & Biostatistics
College of Medicine
Kirstie K. Danielson, PhD is an Associate Professor in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism and Epidemiology & Biostatistics at UIC. She received her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and completed postdoctoral training in Endocrinology at the University of Chicago and Epidemiology at UIC. Dr. Danielson is a former BIRCWH Scholar. Her research program focuses on type 1 diabetes (T1D) complications and treatments. Specifically, investigating the epidemiology of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and altered reproductive function in patients both living with T1D and after being functionally cured of T1D by islet cell transplantation. And conversely, the impact of bone hormones, vascular function, and estrogen/sex differences on the ability of islet cell transplant to functionally cure T1D. Dr. Danielson’s group was the first to describe sex differences in human islet cells where female islets demonstrate advantageous composition and function compared to male islets. In parallel, her work found that the success of islet cell transplant as a functional cure for T1D improves when human female islets are transplanted versus male islets. In the recent pandemic, Dr. Danielson has developed UIC’s COVID-19 Registry for Research (UCRR) in which her team is examining associations with diabetes and sex differences in outcomes. Dr. Danielson has been funded by NIH, the CDC, the American Diabetes Association, the Chicago Diabetes Project, and local universities.
JULIENNE N. RUTHERFORD, PHD
Julienne N. Rutherford, PhD
Associate Professor and Associate Head, Department of Women, Children, and Family Health Science, College of Nursing
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
Dr. Julienne Rutherford is associate professor and associate department head in the Department of Women, Children, and Family Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing. She is a biological anthropologist (PhD, Indiana University, 2007) who is fascinated by the causes and long-term consequences of developmental environments. She is primarily focused on the primate placenta as a signaling interface between mother and fetus, working with both humans and nonhuman primates to address the effects of maternal ecology on placental morphology, metabolic function, and gene expression, and the downstream sequelae for offspring health both postnatally, later in life, and across generations. She studies the role of the placenta in the developmental origins of health and disease in nonhuman primates and humans (e.g., Rutherford 2017), as well as evolutionary causes and consequences of human birth complications (Rutherford and Abrams, 2012; Rutherford et al., 2019). She is also part of a four-woman team of bioanthropologists that wrote the foundational SAFE studies, investigating sexual harassment and gender discrimination in field-based sciences (Clancy et al., 2014; Nelson et al., 2017). Dr. Rutherford has been continuously federally funded (National Institutes of Health [R03, BIRCWH, R01] and Department of Defense) since her postdoc.